Windows AutoPilot will tap the cloud to help businesses deploy and manage PCs

Microsoft has unveiled Windows AutoPilot, a new way for businesses to deploy and manage new Windows 10 PCs in the workplace. Leveraging a combination of cloud services, Windows AutoPilot is intended to greatly simplify new device deployment by automating portions of the setup process out of the box. You can get a look at AutoPilot in action in the video below:

IT managers are able to use AutoPilot to customize the Windows 10 setup experience with a cloud configuration. This process can configure the device to automatically join Azure Active Directory, enroll in Intune, apply company settings, and automatically install additional apps. When a new company device is deployed to an employee, AutoPilot's goal is to allow the employee to set up the device themselves without the help of IT.

Microsoft says that the Surface team will start piloting the Windows AutoPilot Deployment Program with customers and partners this summer. In addition, the company detailed some AutoPilot features that will roll out with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Here's a look:

  • Windows AutoPilot Reset – a new reset mechanism to reset a fully configured device while maintaining MDM management and AAD connection state and automatically get the device back into a fully configured state.
  • Enhanced Personalization with Windows AutoPilot Deployment – ability to pre-assign a device to a specific employee in the organization via cloud-configuration.
  • Self Service Active Directory domain join – self-service deployment to get new Windows 10 devices into Active Directory domain joined state along with Microsoft Intune enrollment.

AutoPilot comes in addition to some new security-focused features that Microsoft only recently announced for the Fall Creators Update. For more on Microsoft's plans to bolster device management, be sure to check out the company's full blog post.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl